Every health care system in the world is facing its fair share of challenges. Aging populations, the exponential increase in chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, expensive new treatments—all at a time when most countries desperately need to curtail rising health care costs to save their economies. At the two extremes, we have fully public-funded (socialized) medicine versus entirely free-market (private) health care delivery systems. I’ve written previously about my own experiences working in a number of different environments including the U.K., Australia, and U.S. — three countries with vastly different systems, and how the ideal probably resides somewhere in-between the two extremes. I don’t think that a fully centralized system such as the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) is something that any country should ever be aspiring to. As fair as it sounds — completely free health care at the point use — patients, unfortunately, don’t always get the choice or service that they need in a top-heavy bureaucratic setup.
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This article written by Scientific America believes that in many cases empathy and warmth does …